London 2012

Press release

"We've learned a good lesson from this game. We can not afford to relax" says Serbia top scorer Atanasijevic

Opposite Aleksandar Atanasijevic celebrates after scoring 24 points for Serbia en route to a 3-1 over Tunisia in the first game of day 4 at Earls Court, London

London, Great Britain, July 31, 2012 – “We learned a good lesson today as we claimed the first two sets easily and then we lost focus and composure in the third, thereby paying the way for our opponents there” says Serbia opposite Aleksandar Atanasijevic who totaled an impressive tally of 24 points in the 3-1 win over Tunisia. “We learned that we cannot afford to relax and we definitely cannot go through this scenario in our next matches with Germany, Brazil and Russia. The match with Germany will be crucial to determine our chances to make it to the 1/4 finals” he adds.

One of the rising stars on the volleyball scene, Uros Kovacevic, voted MVP at last year’s FIVB Youth World Championship in Argentina, is confident about the perspectives of Team Serbia in this Olympic competition: “I think we can go quite far, but we do have Russia and Germany ahead of us. They are among the best teams in the world but we will try to win”. Kovacevic and his brother Nikola are among a few duos of siblings competing for Olympic glory at Earls Court: “We sometimes compete for a spot in the starting six as we both play as outside hitters. However, brothers cannot be at rivalry and it is up to the coach to determine what happens in the future”.

Middle blocker Marko Podrascanin charted 8 blocks all alone in the game, thereby helping Serbia cruise to its well-deserved first win in the tournament: “We are very happy with the result. We played better than we did in the first game with the USA but if we want to edge Russia and Brazil, two of the best teams in the world, we need to step up the quality of our play even more. Our reception got more consistency but we must serve better against teams like Brazil that have got a solid reception”.

“I think we have represented Tunisia and African volleyball quite well in this match, much better than we did on Sunday against Brazil” says middle blocker Bilel Ben Hassine. “Serbia is a strong team but we played well except for the fourth set where we had a total lack of concentration. We will need to be more focused against the big teams coming up next and avoid errors”.

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